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The show still goes on for Burbank's Colony Theatre

Thanks to a last-minute grant, the Colony will survive another season.

July 13, 2013|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
  • Rebecca Ann Johnson and Brett Ryback star in the world premiere musical "Falling or Make Believe" at the Colony Theatre in Burbank. Thanks to a last-minute grant, the Colony will survive another season.
Rebecca Ann Johnson and Brett Ryback star in the world… (Photo by Michael…)

Burbank's Colony Theatre has come back from the financial brink again and is preparing to launch its next season in September, thanks to a grant from the Marilyn P. & Wayne H. Kohl Memorial Fund.

Last fall, the Colony, which moved to Burbank in 2000, announced a goal of raising $500,000 to forestall a potential mid-season shutdown and put the theater on a more firm financial footing.

Creative Director Barbara Beckley said Thursday that because of donations and one large financial backer, the theater was able to finish last season, but that the grant made it possible to officially confirm the next season.

The season has a $1-million budget, which Beckley said is drawn from, in addition to the grant, subscriptions, single-show tickets and donations.

"We can predict that [subscription and ticket] money will come in… In the last three years, it hasn't been enough to cover us for the season," she said. "The grant plugged the hole."

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Trent Steelman, the Colony's executive director, said the theater would not disclose the amount of the grant nor identify the large donor.

The Colony was also aided by the surprising success of its last production of the 2012-13 season, the musical "Falling For Make Believe," which was so popular that the theater extended its run through the end of June.

In January, Beckley said the Colony, which leases its 270-seat theater from the city of Burbank, was hoping to raise enough money to set up an endowment. Now, however, that goal is on the back burner.

"The immediate goal is to set aside the funds… to secure the immediate future, the next few years," she said. "When you're dealing with an endowment, you're dealing with a much longer term issue… that's not part of our immediate plan at all."

The new season will include Daniel Beaty's "Breath and Imagination" (Sept. 14 to Oct. 13); Tom Dudzick's "Miracle on South Division Street" (Nov. 9 to Dec. 15); Lissa Levin's "Sex and Education" (Feb. 15 to March 16); and James Goldman's "The Lion in Winter" (April 19 to May 7).

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Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.

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